Rorate Caeli

USCCB clarifies ambiguities of "Reflections on Covenant and Mission"

2. Since Reflections on Covenant and Mission is not an official statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, it was not subject to the same review process that official documents undergo. In the years since its publication, however, some theologians, including Catholics, have treated the document as authoritative. This has proven problematic because the section representing Catholic thought contains some statements that are insufficiently precise and potentially misleading. Reflections on Covenant and Mission should not be taken as an authoritative presentation of the teaching of the Catholic Church. In order to avoid any confusion, the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs have decided to point out some of these ambiguities and to offer corresponding clarifications.
***
8. Reflections on Covenant and Mission correctly asserts that the Church "must always evangelize and will always witness to its faith in the presence of God's kingdom in Jesus Christ to Jews and to all other people."10 It also rightly affirms that the Church respects religious freedom as well as freedom of conscience and that, while the Church does not have a policy that singles out the Jews as a people for conversion, she will always welcome "sincere individual converts from any tradition or people, including the Jewish people."11 This focus on the individual, however, fails to account for St. Paul's complete teaching about the inclusion of the Jewish people as whole in Christ's salvation. In Romans 11:25-26, he explained that when "the full number of the Gentiles comes in . . . all Israel will be saved." He did not specify when that would take place or how it would come about.12 This is a mystery that awaits its fulfillment. Nevertheless, St. Paul told us to look forward to the inclusion of the whole people of Israel, which will be a great blessing for the world (Rom 11:12).
9. Reflections on Covenant and Mission, however, renders even the possibility of individual conversion doubtful by a further statement that implies it is generally not good for Jews toconvert, nor for Catholics to do anything that might lead Jews to conversion because it threatens to eliminate "the distinctive Jewish witness": "Their [the Jewish people's] witness to the kingdom, which did not originate with the Church's experience of Christ crucified and raised, must not be curtailed by seeking the conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity."13 Some caution should be introduced here, since this line of reasoning could lead some to conclude mistakenly that Jews have an obligation not to become Christian and that the Church has a corresponding obligation not to baptize Jews.
CONCLUSION
10. With St. Paul, we acknowledge that God does not regret, repent of, or change his mind about the "gifts and the call" that he has given to the Jewish people (Rom 11:29). At the same time, we also believe that the fulfillment of the covenants, indeed, of all God's promises to Israel, is found only in Jesus Christ. By God's grace, the right to hear this Good News belongs to every generation. Fulfilling the mandate given her by the Lord, the Church, respecting human freedom, proclaims the truths of the Gospel in love.
Committee on Doctrine and Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 18, 2009

22 comments:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

The USCCB just needs to stop publishing pointless documents...As I say USCCB, coufusing more souls day by day. I'll stick to the St. Francis approach and convert Muslims

Rick DeLano said...

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Robert Sungenis, who pretty much demolished the entire project of Cardinal Keeler, Fr. Massa, Dr. Eugene Fisher, and Fr. John Pawlikowski, to use the USCCB Catechism as a means to teach their grotesque heresy that "the covenant God made with the Jews through Moses remains eternally valid for them."

It took a very long time, and a great deal of damage was done, but Dr. Sungenis in particular never shirked, and never backed down, but instead resolutely and brilliantly defended the Catholic Faith against this awful heresy.

Pretty good work for a layman, Dr. Sungenis.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, it's good that they said, "our bad." On the other, they would have done better simply to retract the document and order all existing copies burnt.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps in the up and coming "talks" with the SSPX the Holy See can also acknowledge and clarify ambiguities in Vatican II and the post Vatican II magisterium.

Anonymous said...

Cardinals Keeler and McCarrick , along with Mahoney of course, are the worst of the USA living Cardinals.
Fortunatly, McCarrick and Keeler are both nearly 80 and will soon not be eligible to vote for a new Pope. Hopefully they and all other rad liberals who think as them will be excluded from the next conclave, which I hope is not for a decade!

Just think, McCarrick, Keeler, Kasper, Re, Murphy-O'Connor, Martino, are all close to 80. Let's pray that Pope Benedict XVI lives and reigns well as Pope for many years yet.
If he does, nearly 75% of these type people appointed by John Paul II will be too old to vote.
Even the corrupt liberal Cardinal Stanislaw Dzwicz, of Krakow, who was JP II's personal secretary for 40 years, is pushing retirement. He's less than 5 years from retirement.
If close to 35-40 liberal JP II Cardinals will be too old to vote for a new Pope over the next few years, just think of how many lower level JP II men in the Vatican Curia will also be retiring soon too. They have to quit at 75 also.

Cosmos said...

Anon.-
I think that this is much better than a mere retraction. It says, "this document is wrong because..." There is much less wiggle room than there was last week for those who thrive on it.

It is funny that Rick attributes this to Robert Sungenis. He may be right! I can honestly say that Sungenis, more than anyone else, led me back to the tradition. At the same time, his personality is so over-the-top that he is constantly undermining his own hard work. He has almost zero tact and his interest in scientific issues provide easy fodder for his critics. Nonetheless, I now feel that the same quirks that keep Sungenis from really being a well-respected apologist are also what allowed him to do what he has done. Most people are either too worried about offending the establishment to be truly honest, or have been too well rewarded by the establishment to truly criticize it. Such people seek Truth, but always within limits. Sungenis can do what he does because is on the outside looking in.

Most Excellent Sledgehammer said...

To say the Jewish covenant is still valid to the Jews is like saying I'm still bound by the terms of a financing contract ten years after I pay off the car.

Certainly, observant Jews should have the truth that is in their faith acknowledged, just as all people of good will should. However, as we acknowledge truth, we can't allow anyone to simply sit idle where they are at. Such behavior would leave us complicit in them not knowing the fulfillment of the covenant in Christ. As their faith is celebrated, so to must we encourage them to grow in the truth and to come to acknowledge the Messiah.

Jordanes said...

The late Avery Cardinal Dulles also did a fine job of showing the grave errors and omissions of this pernicious document. The Church needs to do something about Eugene Fisher and his friends who promulgate these heresies, so harmful to the Church's mission, to the souls of the faithful, and to the welfare of the Jews.

As for "Reflections," it needs not only clarification, qualification, and correction, but forthright denunciation, and the Catholics who contributed to its writing need to publicly express sorrow for expressing doctrinal error and leading people to believe it is the faith of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Anon and others,

I forget where I read this, but I saw a blog post that showed that, by 2011 Papa Benedict will have completed a massive overhaul of the College of Cardinals, appointing somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the college.

If the Lord gives him till 2015, he will have appointed over 2/3s of the college.

There is a time and a place for valid criticism of JPII's pontificate, as with all pontificates, but we should also acknowledge that JPII (with Cdl. Ratzinger as the intellectual architect) set up a situation where his successor could almost completely restructure the college of cardinals and many national episcopal conferences.

Prodinoscopus said...

Well, I must admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by this clarification by the USCCB.

Also, despite my previous disagreements with Rick DeLano, I think that we are definitely on the same page regarding the "grotesque heresy" peddled by the USCCB Catechism.

Maybe better days are coming.

Rick DeLano said...

Cosmo:

I agree completely with your observations about Sungenis, which almost read like a job description for the prophetic charism, especially in this day and age of nauseating political correctness.

I had already long since concluded that Sungenis is head and shoulders above the "well respected men" who spent the last three years equivocating or apologing for or "interpreting in an orthodox way" the hellish dual covenant heresy.

Bob honestly doesn't care a single slight tiny little bit what anybody thinks of him.

What a great treasure that is in times like this!

Mark said...

"...observant Jews should have the truth that is in their faith acknowledged,..."

Agreed, howevere there are some VERY IMPORTANT CAVEATS.

Since the rabbis are quite clear about Judaism, it should not be considered anti-semitic to note what the rabbis say of their own religion. Rabbinical Judaism a.k.a. Talmudic Judaism is a POST-Christian religion born of the "sages" of the Babylonian Talmud that was written mostly in the 3rd through 5th centuries AFTER Our Lord's Incarnation.

In His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's book "Jesus of Nazareth," he describes Rabbi Jacob Neusner as "a great scholar" (page 71) and the Holy Father cites Rabbi Neusner almost as many times as he cites Jesus Himself. Here is what Rabbi Neusner says of Rabbinical Judaism:

"The Bavli [Babylonian Talmud] has formed the definitive statement of Judaism from the time of its closure to the present day." Rabbi Jacob Neusner, quoted by Norman F. Cantor, The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews, page 112)

Notes that Rabbi Neusner plainly states that the rabbis "ALTER THE VERY CONTENT OF MOSAIC REVELATION":

“... The rabbi constituted the projection of the divine on earth. Honor was due him more than to the scroll of the Torah, for through his learning and logic he might alter the very content of Mosaic revelation. He was Torah, not merely because he lived by it, but because at his best he constituted as compelling an embodiment of the heavenly model as did a Torah scroll itself.” Rabbi Jacob Neusner, “The Phenomenon of the Rabbi in Late Antiquity: II The Ritual of 'Being a Rabbi' in Later Sasanian Babylonia,” Numen, Vol.17, Fasc. 1., Feb., 1970, pp.3-4.

Plainly, Talmudic Judaism is not some continuation of the Mosaic Covenant, but SUPERSEDES the Mosaic Covenant and does NOT consider it bound by the Old Testament Scriptures:

"This is not an uncommon impression and one finds it sometimes among Jews as well as Christians - that Judaism is the religion of the Hebrew Bible. It is, of course, a fallacious impression. Judaism is not the religion of the Bible." Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, Judaism and the Christian Predicament, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967, p.59, 159

“...the Babylonian Talmud represents God in the flesh...” Rabbi Jacob Neusner, Rabbinic Judaism, Minneapolis MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1995. p. 62

Part of the Torah She Beal Peh ("Oral Torah"), the Tikkunei Zohar 127b refers to the Mishnah (the earliest portions of the Talmud) as “the burial place of Moses.”

It should be crystal clear that "altering" and "burying" Moses is NOT Mosaic Law.

Jordanes said...

Talmudic Judaism is not some continuation of the Mosaic Covenant, but SUPERSEDES the Mosaic Covenant and does NOT consider it bound by the Old Testament Scriptures: ***

True, and as such it rivals Christianity, which is, like Judaism, not a continuation of the Mosaic covenant, but alters and supersedes the Mosaic covenant and does not consider itself bound by the Old Testament Scriptures. Judaism has never at any time, not even prior to the time of Christ, been bound by the Old Testament Scriptures, but has always depended as well upon oral tradition for the interpretation and application of its Scriptures. Neither Judaism nor Christianity have ever accepted the “sola scriptura” heresy. It’s not a matter of whether or not it is right to alter or supersede the Sinatic covenant, but which religion’s alteration and supercession is the right one.

It should be crystal clear that "altering" and "burying" Moses is NOT Mosaic Law. ***

On the contrary, the Law of Moses itself in various places incorporates the development of a teaching authority with the right to make alterations in how the Law of Moses is to be lived. As Jesus said, the Scribes and Pharisees sat in the seat of Moses, so all that they decided was to be observed. That authority reverted to Our Lord, for it is His by right, and He then bestowed it upon the apostles and their successors.

You’ve also misunderstood the metaphor of the Mishnah as the “burial place” of Moses. It doesn’t mean the rabbis have decided to kill and bury Moses so he can be forgotten and the Law of Moses safely be disregarded. Christianity received from Judaism the belief that the body is sacred and that it is a commendable act of justice and mercy to bury the dead. A person’s burial place is a holy place. When the rabbis assert that the Mishnah is the burial place of Moses, they are claiming that even though Moses is dead, you can still find his abiding monument by studying the Mishnah, a compilation of oral legislative tradition said to have been handed down by the sages from the time of Moses. Now, that claim is not true (or at least not entirely true), but it is nonetheless what they believe.

Let me also take this occasion to remind certain individuals (you know who you are) that my comment is absolutely NOT an open door for you to post anti-Semitic diatribes or to level unfounded accusations against me or any other Rorate Caeli contributor of being Judaising heretics or Talmud apologists.

Jordanes said...

Note to John: I never saw your comment, and Rorate has more than one moderator, so I can't say why your comment was not approved. I trust the other moderators' judgment, though, and I can only advise you to try to restate your argument in a new comment.

John said...

Point #1

Let us not gloss over Jordanes' point: "It’s not a matter of whether or not it is right to alter or supersede the Sinatic covenant, but which religion’s alteration and supercession is the right one." There is much worth analyzing in that short sentence.

What license to change was there?

DEUTERONOMY 4:2 ??? "You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

JOSUE 1:7-8:??? "Take courage therefore, and be very valiant: that thou mayst observe and do all the law, which Moses my servant hath commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayst understand all things which thou dost. 8 Let not the book of this law depart from thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate on it day and night, that thou mayst observe and do all things that are written in it: then shalt thou direct thy way, and understand it. "

Rather than acknowledging that the rabbis had (have?) a Divine license to change Mosaic Law, Jesus Himself judged, nay, condemned, the rabbis’ changes as “transgressions” (Matthew 15:3) and “voiding the commandments of God for the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8-9). By a CATHOLIC standard, then, the "burial" and "alterations" of Mosaic Law by Talmudic Judaism are objectionable.

John said...

Point #2

The "burial" of Moses AND the Prophets is no benign project or respectful Spiritual Work of Mercy in the Mishnah. Far from being a "commendable act of justice" and an "abiding monument," the Torah heaps significant insult, even vituperation, upon Moses and the Prophets for having the temerity to criticize the Israelites for their transgressions.*

Consider one example of what Torah offers to Moses as a "commendable act of justice" and an "abiding monument." Babylonian Talmud Menachot22b finds God placing Moses in the 18th row of Talmud sage Rabbi Akiva’s class, in the “back of the class” for his poor understanding of Torah. Consider how the Talmudic tradition treats God Himself. A renowned 17th century rabbi of Prague, the “Koliner rebbe,” stated, "Our Zaddikim's (famous Orthodox rabbis) words are more important than the Torah of Moses. As our Sages teach: A Zaddik decrees, and God obeys."

"The Holy One, Blessed be He, speaks Torah out of the mouths of all rabbis.” Haggadah 15b

John said...

footnote to Point #2

*e.g., 1 Kings 8:7-8, 1 Kings 13:13, 3 Kings 18:18, Isaias 65:11-12, Ezekiel 8:18, Jeremias 2:13, Ezekiel 20:23-25, Jeremias 8:7-10, Jeremias 44:23, Baruch 2:10, Daniel 9:25-27, Osee 4:1-2 Osee 5:1-2, Amos 8:2, Amos 9:1, Malachias 2:8-12

Jordanes said...

Aha. So I did see your two previously submitted comments, "John." You had submitted them under another screen name, "Mark." I was considering whether or not to approve them, but when I came back several hours later, another moderator had decided to reject them.

In the future, please stick to just one screen name. It is easier to keep track of a discussion that way, and multiple screen names gives the false impression of a chorus of likeminded individuals when in fact it is just one person.

Now then, Mark/John, regarding your question, "What license to change was there?"

DEUTERONOMY 17:8-13 *** If thou perceive that there be among you a hard and doubtful matter in judgment between blood and blood, cause and cause, leprosy and leprosy: and thou see that the words of the judges within thy gates do vary: arise, and go up to the place, which the Lord thy God shall choose. And thou shalt come to the priests of the Levitical race, and to the judge, that shall be at that time: and thou shalt ask of them, and they shall shew thee the truth of the judgment. And thou shalt do whatsoever they shall say, that preside in the place, which the Lord shall choose, and what they shall teach thee, according to his law; and thou shalt follow their sentence: neither shalt thou decline to the right hand nor to the left hand. But he that will be proud, and refuse to obey the commandment of the priest, who ministereth at that time to the Lord thy God, and the decree of the judge, that man shall die, and thou shalt take away the evil from Israel: And all the people hearing it shall fear, that no one afterwards swell with pride.

These commandments of the Torah are the basis for the authority of the Jewish judges and teachers and rabbis giving authoritative judgments on how to interpret and apply the Torah in the infinite number of potential situations that are not explicitly addressed in the Torah. For example, the Torah commandments abstinence from work on the seventh day of the week, but does not spell out which is the seventh day of the week, nor when the Sabbath begins and ends, nor what constitutes "work." All of those things had to be ascertained through "legal precedent" or "oral tradition" established through the body of judges.

LEVITICUS 23:1-2 *** And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: These are the feasts of the Lord, which you shall call holy.

"Call" in Hebrew is a word that means "to call out, to proclaim, to announce." "Holy" in Hebrew is a word that means "a holy observance." Thus, it isn't just that the Jews were to call those festivals "holy," but that they were to proclaim or announce them as times of holy celebration and worship. (The text here is identical in the pre-Christian Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the medieval Masoretic texts.) That is, it was up to the children of Israel to announce the times of the Sabbath and festivals, which implies the authority of their judges and priests to interpret and apply the Torah to determine when each festival should begin and end, including when each calendar month (calculated from the New Moon) was to begin and end.

These judgments and rulings of the rabbis, which can and did change over time, are the "alterations" of the Torah mentioned in rabbinic tradition, to which you object. For example, what were the Jews to do during the Babylonian exile, when there was no Temple? What were they to do after the Romans destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70? How were the Torah commandments to be observed in such circumstances? The Torah doesn't say, so the rabbis and sages had to give an answer.

Jordanes said...

Rather than acknowledging that the rabbis had (have?) a Divine license to change Mosaic Law, Jesus Himself judged, nay, condemned, the rabbis’ changes as “transgressions” (Matthew 15:3) and “voiding the commandments of God for the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8-9). ***

That is a misinterpretation of Our Lord's words. He was not condemning all of their traditions, but those that had the effect of making void the commandments of God. It wasn't the principle of their authority that was the problem -- for He
gave the same or greater authority to His Church -- but their application of that authority. Some, even many, of the rulings of the judges were erroneous. In addition, Jesus had come to fulfill the Torah, to bring in a new Torah, as St. Paul said in the Epistle to the Hebrews. As the Son of Man and the promised Prophet of whom Moses had spoken in Deuteronomy, Jesus was asserting His supreme authority to "change" or "alter" the Torah. With the Old Covenant fulfilled, the authority of the Scribes and Pharisees would cease and the apostolic authority of the Church would commence.

By a CATHOLIC standard, then, the "burial" and "alterations" of Mosaic Law by Talmudic Judaism are objectionable. ***

I have already explained the rabbinic metaphor of "Moses' burial place." It is all about what I mentioned above, that the Torah given by Moses did not address all the situations that would arise, so the rabbis and sages had to "give Torah," so to speak, that Moses did not, indeed could not, give.

Jordanes said...

The "burial" of Moses AND the Prophets is no benign project or respectful Spiritual Work of Mercy in the Mishnah. Far from being a "commendable act of justice" and an "abiding monument," the Torah (sic) heaps significant insult, even vituperation, upon Moses and the Prophets for having the temerity to criticize the Israelites for their transgressions.* ***

I've already addressed your misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the "burial place" metaphor. You're also twisting my explanatory comments.

I also will guess that you are referring to the Talmud, not the Torah. Still, there's nothing in either the Torah or the Talmud that "heaps significant insult, even vituperation, upon Moses and the Prophets for having the temerity to criticize the Israelites for their transgressions."

Consider one example of what Torah offers to Moses as a "commendable act of justice" and an "abiding monument." ***

Again, I think you meant to say Talmud. At least I hope that's what you meant to say, but I suppose I can't rule out that you may have a loathing for the Law that God gave Israel through Moses.

Anyway, you're twisting and misapplying my comments, which had to do with the "burial place of Moses" metaphor -- something that refers to the Mishnah alone, not to the entire Talmud.

Babylonian Talmud Menachot22b finds God placing Moses in the 18th row of Talmud sage Rabbi Akiva’s class, in the “back of the class” for his poor understanding of Torah. ***

Yes, that is a provocative "demotion" of Moses, a use of hyperbole to express how much esteem and authority the Jewish rabbis (wrongly) came to place in Rabbi Akiva's teaching.

Consider how the Talmudic tradition treats God Himself. A renowned 17th century rabbi of Prague, the “Koliner rebbe,” stated, "Our Zaddikim's (famous Orthodox rabbis) words are more important than the Torah of Moses. As our Sages teach: A Zaddik decrees, and God obeys." ***

Not unlike Christ's declaration to St. Peter and His Apostles in Matt. 16:19 and Matt. 18:18. The principle in itself is not insulting to God, but is only to be criticised because the Jews place that God-given authority n their sages instead of in the Church where God had actually placed it.

"The Holy One, Blessed be He, speaks Torah out of the mouths of all rabbis.” Haggadah 15b ***

That rabbinic teaching is to be understod in light of Deut. 17:8-13.

John said...

Jordanes, you make your case by conflating legitimate refinement and illicit change. That provides an instructive typological example for the Novus Ordo.

An ex cathedra definition can REFINE (EXPLAIN) a dogma, but not INVERT (CHANGE) it. Nothwithstanding the strong language of Matthew 16:19, the Vatican Council defined in Pastor Aeternus that, while any Pope may REFINE dogma, no Pope has the authority to CHANGE dogma.

In typological parallel, Deuteronomy 17:8ff allowed (past tense) the rabbis to explain and legislate within the Mosaic Law (as in the legitimate examples you have given regarding the Sabbath, etc.). Notwithstanding that authority, Deuteronomy 4:2, Josue 1:7-8 et al. define that the rabbis must legislate within the Law. They never had and still do not have license to alter the very content of Mosaic revelation. So, I do not misunderstand Jesus’ clear condemnation of the CHANGES that voided the commandments of God for the traditions of men. (Mark 7:9) Recall that there is one that accuseth you, Moses (John 5:42). Jesus made no mistake. Jesus did not conflate the rabbis’ legitimate legislation and judgments with their defections from Mosaic Law. Those defections from Mosaic Law were never -- and today still are not -- justifiable by any Divine license. The defections that Jesus condemned are no "commendable acts of justice" or "abiding monuments" to Moses.

The rabbis freely acknowledge that they have indeed altered the very content of Mosaic revelation, that they have buried Moses and the Pentateuch, not as an equivalent of a Spiritual Work of Mercy, but to ridicule him as the dummy in the back of the class and to supersede the Pentateuch with their superior decrees that, as I have cited above, they declare even God must obey.

Another proof text:

“On the surface, Scripture plays little role in the Mishanaic system, The Mishnah [of the Talmud] rarely cites a verse of Scripture, refers to Scripture as an entity, links its own ideas to those of Scripture, or lays claim to originate in what Scripture has said, even by indirect or remote allusion to a Scriptural verse of teaching... Formally, redactionally, and linguistically the Mishnah stands in splendid isolation from Scripture....the Mishnah constitutes Torah. [AHEM!!!] It too is a statement of revelation, 'Torah revealed to Moses at Sinai.' But this part of revelation has come down in a form different from the well-known, written part, the Scripture. This tradition truly deserves the name 'tradition,' because for a long time it was handed down orally, not in writing, until given the written formulation now before us in the Mishnah.... Since some of the named authorities in the chain of tradition appear throughout the materials of the Mishnah, the claim is that what these people say comes to them from Sinai through the processes of qabbalah and massoret -- handing down 'traditioning.' So the reason... that the Mishnah does not cite Scripture is that it does not have to.” (Rabbi Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah: A New Translation. New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1988. pp. xxxv-xxxvi).

Unlike authentic Catholicism that is faithful to Apostolic Tradition, Judaism boasts a process, “traditioning,” that has taken an ever widening trajectory from God’s Law.

Jordanes said...

Jordanes, you make your case by conflating legitimate refinement and illicit change. ***

No, I certainly do not. I have distinguished between the Jewish teachers' legitimate use of their authority and its illegitimate use. Jesus did not reject and condemn the Jewish "traditions of the elders" without distinction. He did not classify the whole of their tradtion as "commandments of men" that make void the Torah. That is a misinterpretation of His words, but it is the interpretation that you have advanced.

In typological parallel, Deuteronomy 17:8ff allowed (past tense) the rabbis to explain and legislate within the Mosaic Law (as in the legitimate examples you have given regarding the Sabbath, etc.). Notwithstanding that authority, Deuteronomy 4:2, Josue 1:7-8 et al. define that the rabbis must legislate within the Law. They never had and still do not have license to alter the very content of Mosaic revelation. ****

The rabbis do not claim that their Oral Law alters the very content of Mosaic revelation. On the contrary, they insist that their Oral Law is also a part of Mosaic revelation. This is parallel to and not altogether unlike the Catholic understanding of the relationship between Scripture and Tradition.

Jesus did not conflate the rabbis’ legitimate legislation and judgments with their defections from Mosaic Law. ***

Neither do I, but your sweeping comments do so conflate them.

The rabbis freely acknowledge that they have indeed altered the very content of Mosaic revelation, ***

No, they don't. It is a grave misunderstanding of Rabbinic Judaism to interpret rabbinic expressions in that way. Hebrew rabbinism has its own grammatic idiom that must be grasped for their commentary and rulings and opinions to be properly understood. Jesus spoke in a similar idiom -- consider His instructions that sound as if He wants us to pluck out our eyes amd cut off our hands, or that commend the act of self-castration for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

that they have buried Moses and the Pentateuch, ***

Not in the sense in which you choose to misunderstand the metaphor do they acknowledge burying Moses and the Torah.

to ridicule him as the dummy in the back of the class ***

That was not the intent of that rabbinic parable.

and to supersede the Pentateuch with their superior decrees that, as I have cited above, they declare even God must obey. ***

And as I have said, even Jesus talks as if God must "obey" the decisions of St. Peter.

“the Mishnah constitutes Torah. [AHEM!!!] It too is a statement of revelation, 'Torah revealed to Moses at Sinai.' But this part of revelation has come down in a form different from the well-known, written part, the Scripture. This tradition truly deserves the name 'tradition,' because for a long time it was handed down orally, not in writing, until given the written formulation now before us in the Mishnah" ***

As I said, the Church has a similar understanding of Apostolic Tradition -- not as something extraneous to the deposit of faith, as something added on later that alters the content of divine revelation, but as integral to it.

So then, to reiterate what I'd said above, the question isn't whether or not the rabbis and sages were right to authoritatively teach and apply the Mosaic tradition, but whether it is the rabbinic or the apostolic tradition that God intends men to accept by faith. It's a question of authority, ultimately of Christ's authority. If Jesus is who He says He is (and He is), then the Church is who She says She is, and thus Judaism must be seen as false, as defective, and the Catholic faith must be embraced.